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Home > Hits Menu > Hits List > "I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL" by JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS > Summary
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Song Author: Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker
Year Recorded: 1981
I Love Rock 'n' Roll

Single by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts from the album I Love Rock 'n Roll
B-side "You Don't Know What You've Got"
"Love Is Pain"
"You're Too Possessive"
Released January 20, 1982
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1981
Genre Hard rock
Length 2:52
Label Boardwalk Records
Producer Richie Cordell, Kenny Laguna
Certification Platinum

Joan Jett saw Arrows perform "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" on their weekly television series Arrows. when she was touring England with The Runaways in 1976.

She first recorded the song in 1979 with two of the Sex Pistols: Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was not released until 1993 in Flashback.

In 1981, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, The Blackhearts. s recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, effectively launching Jett's solo career.

The single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, representing one million units sold. All versions count once toward certification.

This success propelled Jett's I Love Rock 'n Roll album to number two on the Billboard 200. Joan Jett's version was ranked #89 in the list 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of Rolling Stone.

I Love Rock 'n Roll"'s gritty, black-and-white music video received heavy play from the just-launched MTV network.

In it, Jett and The Blackhearts travel to a small, dingy bar and proceed to excite the drunken crowd by performing the song and yelling out its famous chorus. A snippet of Jett's 1981 hit "Bad Reputation" is featured at the beginning of the video.

Jett followed up "I Love Rock 'n Roll" with another cover—her version of Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover," which was a top-ten U.S. hit. The video was originally in color, but it was converted to black and white because Jett was ultimately displeased with the look of her red leather jacket in color.

In 1993 Joan Jett & The Blackhearts made another music video for the song as part of the Wayne's World 2 soundtrack. In the video appear several scenes from the movie with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey mixed with footage of Joan and her band in concert. It was again released as a single by Warner/Reprise with "Activity Grrrl" as the B-side.

I Love Rock 'n' Roll:

Single by Arrows
B-side "Broken Down Heart" (R. Ferris)
Released 1975
Format 7" single
Recorded 1975
Genre Rock
Length 2:48
Label RAK Records
Writer(s) Alan Merrill, Jake Hooker
Producer Mickie Most

"I Love Rock 'n Roll" is a rock song written in 1975 by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of Arrows, who recorded the first released version. The song was later made famous by the hit version recorded by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts in 1981.[1] Alan Merrill has been playing the song recently live in England, Europe, Japan and most often in his home town New York City.

The song was originally recorded and released by Arrows in 1975 on RAK Records, with lead vocals by Alan Merrill and produced by Mickie Most. In an interview with Songfacts, Merrill said he wrote it as "a knee-jerk response to The Rolling Stones' 'It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)'"

This version was first released as a B-side, but was soon re-recorded and flipped to A-side status on a subsequent pressing of the record. Although not a chart hit in its original version as a result of nonexistent promotion by the band's label, the song has come to worldwide prominence due to very successful cover versions.